The Gospel of John
Controversy Over the Man
J. Deering, AncientPath.net
Controversy over the Man – Part I
13 They *brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
We should take note of the “They” mentioned here. We know from Chapter eight that there were among the general population of Jews certain ones who had been sent out to watch Jesus and find fault with His teaching. Had the text stated that some brought the formerly blind man to the priests then that would seem normal. But, these brought the man to the Sanhedrin--the leadership therefore we should see something much more sinister. When asked questions he just told the truth, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, And I see.”
16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they *said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He is a prophet.”
We see that the center of attention of the Pharisees is Jesus and not the man who was healed. They see this fortunate man as only a tool to get at Jesus and find Him guilty [in their eyes] of violating the Sabbath law. At this time there was some division amongst the Pharisees. Because Jesus healed on the Sabbath they regarded Him as a sinner. Those on the other side of the issue argued, if He is a sinner, how could he perform such a “sign” as this? They further queried the man as to whom did he think Jesus was, and he answered that he thought Jesus was a prophet.